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Sri Lanka selling global bonds amid widening budget deficit

Oct 27 (BN) Sri Lanka is selling global bonds for the second time this year as the govt faces a wider budget deficit and a weaker currency. The issuance is ranked B+ by Standard & Poor’s, its 4th-highest junk grade, and its size is yet to be decided. The sovereign is marketing 10-year notes and indicated it expects the securities to yield around 7%, according to a person familiar with the deal who isn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. more..

Sri Lanka detains 34 Indian fishermen

Oct 27 (IANS) Sri Lankan navy and Coast Guard have detained 34 Indian fishermen for straying into Sri Lankan waters, it was announced on Tuesday. The fishermen were captured off Kankesanthurai, Thalaimannar and the Delft islands in the north of the island nation. Seven Indian fishing trawlers were seized. "The arrested fishermen along with the trawlers were brought to Kankesanthurai and Thalaimannar for onward action," the navy said. The arrests came a day after more..

GMOA supports pay hike for state employees

Oct 27 (Island) The GMOA, which met Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday prior to next month’s budget proposals for 2016, said it would fully support a pay hike for state employees. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Nalinda Herath said that the Executive Committee which had met Minister Karunanayke had impressed upon him however that the salaries of government servants should be increased in keeping with the National Salary Policy (NSP). The aim is to maintain the stability of the govt service more..

Lionel Fernando resigns from HRCSL

Oct 27 (DM) Former Civil Servant and diplomat Lionel Fernando has resigned from Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) citing personal reasons. On Oct 21, four commissioners including Lionel Fernando, Saliya Pieris, Gazali Hussain and Ambika Satkunanathan were appointed to the HRCSL. Mr. Fernando said that as soon as he got the appointment letter, he had wanted to resign. Therefore the following day he had informed he would resign and later tendered more..

Sri Lanka condoles with quake victims

Oct 27 (CG) Govt said it was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and destruction to property caused by the devastating earthquake in the Hindukush region of Afghanistan yesterday which also affected parts of India and Pakistan. A Foreign Ministry statement said that Sri Lanka stands in support and solidarity with the Govts and those affected in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan and wish to convey deep condolences to the families of those who lost their lives more..

Train services grinding to a halt; already six trains withdrawn from daily running

Oct 27 (Island) Train services were maintained minus more than six trains daily from the Maradana Railway Station, especially during office hours due to 30 locomotives awaiting repairs at the Ratmalana railway workshop for more than two months, the department sources said. They said that the locomotive repairs were held up due to a work–to–rule campaign launched by the railway clerical staff. "Due to the clerical staff trade union action the salaries and overtime payment of technical workers more..

TULF to float new coalition

Oct 27 (Hindu) TULF has planned to form a broad-based coalition of parties and forces opposed to the TNA, according to V. Anandasangaree, general secretary of the party. It was against this backdrop that the move of Vinayagamoorthi Muralidaran, popularly called Karuna, to quit the SLFP and join the proposed front had to be viewed, Mr. Anandasangaree said. Mr. Muralidaran, who was the commander of the LTTE for the eastern region covering Batticaloa, more..

Direct flights link Beijing, Colombo

Oct 27 (Xinhua) Air China launched direct flights between Beijing and Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, on Tuesday. Flights will leave Beijing on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon. There has been growing demand for flights between the two countries. China is Sri Lanka's second largest trading partner and the number of Chinese visitors to the country has seen rapid growth. In the first five months of the year, 12, 000 Chinese visited Sri Lanka, up 71.9%. more..

Met Dept gives out mixed signals on weather

Oct 27 (Island) Meteorology Department yesterday said that the prevailing countrywide stormy weather would ease today, but thunder showers were predicted in most parts of the country after 2.00 pm. Morning showers could be expected in several places in the Eastern Province. According to the met department, localised strong winds can be expected during thunder showers. Met Department warns the public to take adequate precautions to minimise damages caused by lightning. more..

Law College students write to CJ over exam issues

Oct 27 (CT) Second year students of the Sri Lanka Law College wrote to Chief Justice K. Sripavan explaining that they had fallen out of trust with the administration over students being failed at the April exam, an act which the students perceived as an injustice. In the letter, copies of which were also sent to President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Attorney General Yuvanjana Wijeyatilake, more..

Interview: Chinese tourists contribute to Sri Lanka's forex: hotelier

Oct 27 (Xinhua) Chinese tourists have contributed to bring in large amounts of foreign exchange over the years and have appreciated what the island nation has to offer, said Rohan Karr, Director Manager of Sri Lanka's leading hotel chain, the Cinnamon City Hotels. In an interview with Xinhua, Karr said with a large number of Chinese tourists travelling to other parts of the world, if 1 percent of them chose to visit Sri Lanka, it would fill up their hotels. more..

New electronic ID cards to all by 2016: Ravi

Oct 27 (AD) Initial step is being taken to issue electronic national identity cards to all before end of 2016, and issuance of new identity card will commence form next January, Minister Ravi Karunanayake says. The Registrar General’s Department, with the technical assistance of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) launched into developing the electronic Population Register which will contain basic information of all the citizens of Sri Lanka. more..

Protestors call for peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue

Oct 27 (DM) A peaceful protest by members of the Kashmir Study Forum and the Pakistani and Sri Lankan communities was held today outside the United Nation Office at Bauddhaloka Mawatha in Colombo to mark the Kashmir Black Day. "UN Secretary General is urged to encourage, facilitate and support efforts leading to a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions. He should exercise the mandate entrusted to him by more..

Public fears about modern agriculture, pesticides & the emergence of ...

Oct 28 (CT) The fear that what you eat is poisoned and it is not good for you have produced a two-tier market with the top tier, made up of organic foods catering to the rich, while the ordinary people have to eat the food from the large warehouse sales centers, US examples being Costco and Wall-mart. The clout of the rich social segment is such that its campaign is likely to endanger the food market of the poor, especially in developing countries where safe pesticides & fertilizers have been banned more..

Why has Sri Lanka never considered demobilization?

Oct 28 (CT) To consolidate the peace dividend, very high on the agenda of the principal warring nations was demobilization. The end of the War demanded it from early May 1945 and earnest steps were in motion by June, the same year. It would suffice to examine facts and figures of two nations which were allies in war and then partners in the peace process. They were USA & UK. What was the objective? To stop the drain of resources into unproductive channels; to give a fresh lease of life to more..

Losing the house of memories

Oct 28 (SO) I am worried and mad at my Mum. Why is she doing this? Is she insane or greedy? But she says it is foolish to keep something that will be soon taken over by them. I cried: “Mum it is our home. We have got to keep it for our kids. May be they will not live there but this is the only connection we have got. After all, Mannar is our hometown." My mother sounded very determined in her stand. She continued justifying her more..

Independent Commissions a huge hoax

Oct 28 (GV) The first resignation of a member appointed to an independent commission was reported yesterday (26) with Lionel Fernando tendering his resignation within a week, reportedly for personal reasons. His name appeared as appointed to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) by the President on 22 Oct. Yet to go on public record is the information that Justice Salam has allegedly rejected his appointment. He was initially recommended to the CC more..

SL obsession with superlatives & superiority

Oct 28 (SL) It is said that first impressions are the most vivid and I can, certainly, recall the tone and content of my early contact with the language that was spoken on radio or TV or appeared in print for either the purpose of selling some product or in the dissemination of information when I returned to Sri Lanka about a decade ago. Having found the North American, particularly the USA, claims that the product being spoken of was top-notch in every way and having reached the point when more..

Wrongdoers should be punished

Oct 28 (SL) Political environment of our country took a different turn since the beginning of this year. Many have called it a transition period. While all the political statuses remained heated up, the birth of a new political culture have set an example for all in the political arena. However, as the present govt came into power, among the promises it had given to the people was the promise of finding and punishing the culprits who are responsible more..

Waiting in a quagmire

Oct 28 (DN) Former President Rajapaksa is now caught up in a situation where he has to have the cake and eat the cake. He was scheduled to express his views in Parliament, representing the UPFA, when the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka was taken up for debate in the country’s legislature. Many were expecting the war winning President to share his views on the pros and cons of the resolution of which Sri Lanka too was a co-sponsor. Surprisingly, former President Rajapaksa, more..

Editorial: Bunker bunkum

Oct 28 (Island) There seems to be no end in sight to the on-going bunker debate. A govt spokesman has denied former President Rajapaksa’s claim that there is an underground bunker at Temple Trees. The current bunker talk is proof of our political leaders’ immaturity and readiness to stoop to any low level to give vent to their pent up animosity towards one another and gain some political mileage in the process. They have graduated from washing dirty linen in public to divulging sensitive more..

War crimes probe: Relevance of leaked US cables and UK court case

Oct 28 (Island) The report on the Second Mandate of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Into Complaints of Abductions and Disappearances, aka Paranagama Commission, highlighted the relevance of Wikileaks cables in assessing the accountability issues in Sri Lanka. Norwegian govt underlined the relevance of Wikileaks revelations, pertaining to SL, in Sept 2011. A comprehensive report, titled Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of more..

Blending country’s biodiversity with development

Oct 28 (DN) In the discourse on the merit gained in planting groves, the Deva asked the Buddha ‘In whom does merit grow by day and by night? Who are the people that are well established in the Dhamma? Who are the people that are endowed with morality? Who are the people that are bound for the deva realms? In answering Deva’s question, the Buddha said “They who plant orchards and gardens, who plant groves, who build bridges, who set up sheds by the roadside with drinking water for more..

The Sampur Saga -- I

Oct 28 (Island) There has been a fervent appeal by many, over the years to implement the proposed Sampur Coal Power plant, with warning of dire consequences of power shortages due to any delay in this project. This call has been renewed in the recent weeks and the latest appeared in the Ceylon Today with a warning by the CEB Engineers union of the need for a new fuel source by 2017. The specter of power shortage by 2019 is trotted out in an attempt to garner public support. more..

'Balance between bat and ball is imperative'

Oct 28 (CT) Q: What is your full name? A: Umagiliyadurage Upul Chandana. Q: What is your age? A: I am exactly 43 now. Q: What is your home town? A: I am from Galle. Q: Tell us about your family? A: We are a big family - altogether 12 with my parents. I have five elder brothers and three elder sisters and one younger sister. I am the ninth in the family. Q: What is your school? A: Mahinda College, Galle. Q: Tell us about your school cricketing more..

Sri Lanka's marks out of 10

Oct 28 (CI) 8: Rangana Herath (15 wickets at 16.13) Before the tour Herath floated the idea that he could be possibly thinking about beginning to consider retirement next year. He then went on to suggest that Sri Lanka need him in the team until his fingers begin falling off. He wins so many matches on the Galle surface, teammates should be forced to cut a large disk out of that pitch and carry Herath around on it like one of those ancient Gallic chieftains. He didn't exactly have to work hard more..

Colombo festival: Adoor, Aruna to be feted

Oct 28 (Hindu) Veteran film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and film critic and author Aruna Vasudev will be honoured at the second edition of the International Film Festival of Colombo to be held from Nov 7 to 11. Asoka Handagama, festival director, said that the two would receive a life-time achievement award at the valedictory of the festival. They had been chosen for having put Asian cinema on the international map. Over 100 films from different countries would be screened at more..

Pension reforms should align with fiscal policy

Oct 28 (FT) Sri Lanka needs to make strong reforms linked to the Govt’s fiscal policy to encourage savings and improve inclusion of more people in pension systems, according to UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Population (UNESCAP) officials, as the country faces the challenge of a rapidly ageing population. UNESCAP Officer Vanessa Steinmayer referring to the existing pension systems in more..

SLT embarks on Technology Campus to bridge engineering education in Sri Lanka

Oct 28 (Island) As a developing nation, Sri Lanka has a reputation for high literacy and a growing young population. But despite this assumption, the enrolment rate for higher education in Sri Lanka stagnates at around 2.5% compared to 5% in other developing nations. One of the main reasons for this is accessibility to state universities that enroll students on a quota system. According to statistics, only 12% of the total number of students who sat for the A/L exam during last few years more..

Megapolis plan for major cities

Oct 28 (DN) The Sri Lankan govt is planning to convert Galle, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Anuradhapura, and Kandy into major highly developed mega cities in addition to the proposed western province megapolis project, Ministry of Megapolis- Western Region Development, Secretary N.Rupasinghe said. The govt aims to position Sri Lanka among rising Asian economies by creating highly developed cities to power the large- scale growth. He said megapolis are now creating rapid growth and more..

Jaffna varsity keen on pact with Indian uni

Oct 28 (Hindu) University of Jaffna is keen on building links with the Indian universities to strengthen the educational and cultural relationship between India and Sri Lanka, according to its Vice-Chancellor Vasanthi Arasaratnam. She told presspersons here on Tuesday on the sidelines of conference on Women entrepreneurship ecosystem-present and future organised by the National Institute of Technology-Tiruchi that more..

Extorting money from Dhamminda Thera: Gangsters arrested

Oct 28 (DM) Police arrested a group of gangsters including a woman on charges of attempting to extort Rs.2.5 million from the Kataragama Kirivehera Rajamaha Vihara Chief Incumbent the Ven. Kobawaka Dhamminna Thera. The Tangalle Division Crime Investigation Unit had on Monday also seized the vehicle used by the gangsters to arrive at the temple. The Thera refused to give them any money but informed the Tangalle Police, which lost no time in ambushing the gangsters more..

We must commit ourselves to preserve the nation’s heritage: President

Oct 28 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that we must commit ourselves to preserve the nation’s heritage for future generations, in the same way so that they too can talk about their heritage proudly as we do today. The President added that adding we should teach our children to conquer the modern world while preserving our culture and our identity. He made these remarks participating at the annual prize giving ceremony of Ananda College, Colombo today (26). more..

‘Govt heading for major foreign reserve crisis’

Oct 28 (Island) Govt is heading for a major foreign reserve crisis because the country’s foreign reserves are sufficient for only four and a half months. Those funds are borrowed capital, which we need to pay interest on as well, top economist said. At present the govt has total foreign reserves to the tune of US$ 4.5 billion, which is only sufficient for four months' imports and the forthcoming budget has to focus more on revenue generating areas more..

Minister Samarasinghe sees cementing of good relations with Germany

Oct 27 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who was the chief guest at the recent national day of Germany said, "At a time we celebrate 62-years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the bonds between the two nations have been further strengthened." The German technical Training Institute constructed in Kilinochchi would help solve unemployment issue and create harmony among those of different races and religions, he said. "There were over 60,000 Sri Lankans living more..

Boosts foreign reserves

Oct 28 (CT) The country's foreign reserves, for the first time since the partial liberalization of the exchange rate nearly eight weeks ago, has witnessed net foreign inflows in to the foreign exchange (FX) market in the seven market days to Monday (26) on a cumulative basis, recording a figure of US$ 333.45 million. This discounts the weekend of 24-25 Oct, when the markets were on holiday. Such net inflows were boosted by a recent US$ 330 million sale of Development Bonds more..

Bangladesh to sign FTA with Sri Lanka soon

Oct 28 (BDN) Bangladesh will soon sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka to reduce trade barriers, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said. All formalities have been completed, minister told reporters after meeting SL High Commissioner Yasoja Gunasekera. He, however, said some complications export duty. “We have proposed to reduce the duty on export from 13.5 to 5% in order to boost trade between more..

Pakistan women A team to tour Sri Lanka

Oct 28 (DT) Pakistan women A team will tour Sri Lanka next month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Tuesday. During the tour, the Pakistan women’s team will play three one-dayers and same number of Twenty20 matches. The tour starts on Nov 12 and ends on November 24 against the hosts A team. The PCB women’s selection committee has picked 25 probables players for a training camp. The training camp will be held from Oct 29 to Nov 11 at Lahore Country Club. more..

New Zealand business delegation to visit SL

Oct 28 (FT) Seventeen New Zealand companies will visit Sri Lanka next week to further strengthen business links between the two countries. New Zealand’s two-way trade with Sri Lanka is worth $ 323 million with milk powder, fruit and butter being New Zealand’s top exports. New Zealand companies are ready to partner with Sri Lanka in a range of industries such as food and beverage, aviation, transport and logistics, specialised manufacturing, creative services & education. more..

Eight compelling reasons for resisting implementation of Geneva Resolution

Oct 28 (Island) Surveying the events of the last ten days, it seems to me that the need of the hour is to penetrate the fog of misinformation and fantasy with regard to the consequences of the Geneva Resolution on Sri Lanka, and to make a realistic appraisal of the situation. The point of departure is a clear understanding of the facts. I would like to set out here eight very compelling reasons why more..